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Theater owners’ ‘Mission: Impossible’

Jennifer Collins Dec 20, 2011

Adriene Hill: Tomorrow, the newest “Mission: Impossible” movie opens in theaters across the country. You can also munch popcorn at the cineplex watching “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” — or maybe “The Adventures of Tintin.”

All sorts of date night possibilities — but, as Jennifer Collins reports, this year has been a bit of a slog for the movie business.

Jennifer Collins: Box office receipts iare down 4 percent this year. That’s partly because last year was so strong — thanks in part to this little movie:

“Avatar” clip: This is your avatar.

Patrick Corcoran: It was a very steep hill to climb.

Patrick Corcoran is the spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners. He expects the last two weekends of the year to be strong, but they’re unlikely to catch 2010.

Corcoran: It would be pretty miraculous if we did.

Corcoran says theater owners have tried various gimmicks to bring in moviegoers this year. They’ve expanded concessions, rolled out more perks for loyal customers and launched early limited releases of major movies like:

“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” clip: Your mission if you choose to accept it.

Last weekend, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” drew millions of dollars on fewer than 500 screens — many of them IMAX.

Paul Dergarabedian tracks box office receipts for Hollywood.com.

Paul Dergarabedian: IMAX is looking at that as an opportunity to create marketing foot soldiers, who will be telling people, “You’ve got to see this movie.”

IMAX says there will be more of these early releases in the future.

I’m Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

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